Eating Insects

eating insects

Friday, November 05, 2004

note: click the links below for pics

Jen picked me up from the train station around three. When asked I wanted to do for dinner I told her about this fancy pants “Pan-Asian cuisine” joint that serves insects. She made an expected “ick” face, but I kept bugging her about it through the evening. I’ve wanted to go to this restaurant for a few years now, I couldn’t come to LA and not eat me some crickets.

With a little time, and many shots of whiskey, Jen was starting to get into the idea of eating bugs, even mentioning that as a child she once ate a live grasshopper. Jen started making calls to friends, pressuring them to eat bug with us.

Finally she reached her friend Andrea. I’m sure Andrea will do it, she works for Fear Factor. Andrea was down with the idea so we met up and drove to the Santa Monica Airport were Typhoon is located (http://www.typhoon-restaurant.com/home.html).

We made it to Typhoon around Nine p.m. and I felt a little underdressed Actually, what should you wear while eating bugs? There was a special section on the menu simply labeled Insect. Under this section were Cricket, Chambai Ants, and White Sea Worms served on spinach leaf.

We started with and order of Devil’s Sake and the Fried Cricket. The sake cups were very large cube shapes, into which the waiter over poured our drinks. It takes a lot of ingenuity to drink from a square shaped cup. Do you drink from the corner? A straw would have been nice.

As we were fumbling with our drinks, the waiter brought our steaming cricket. It was on a large plate with fried noodle and a pineapple garnish. We all dove in. There was a delightfully potent garlic flavor that would make anything taste great. The texture of the crickets was the same as the fried noodle, so it didn’t feel very gross to eat. If you picked out a cricket by itself and ate it you could make out more of a specific texture. We were all surprised because we sort of were expecting something squishy and gross. So we ordered the sea worms.

If you’ve ever been to P.F. Changs, you’ve probably tried the chicken lettuce wrap. Imagine one of those, but instead of lettuce it’s served on not very fresh spinach, and instead of chicken there are hundreds of tiny and extremely fishy tasting worms. The worms were deep-fried. It was sort of like taking the leftover crumbs from a bag of Ripples Potato Chips, and pouring it on top of a piece of wax paper. Add to that an unavoidable musky ocean taste and you’ve got a real unique experience,

By this time I was getting the hang of my square sake cup. I’m still not sure what was more disturbing; eating insects or drinking from those square goblets.

For dessert I ordered ginger krembrule. Which turned out to be an extraordinary tasting krembrule ruined by pompous amounts of ginger root and ginger sauce. This was definitely the grossest thing on the menu, but to be fair we never tried the ant. Im saving that for my next trip to LA.

bug pic 1

bug pic 2